I am a big fan of Prince Ea and he makes amazingly insightful videos and I’ve just finished watching his latest video titled ‘YOU ARE NOT DEPRESSED, STOP IT!’ and despite the well meaning intentions behind it, I found myself disagreeing with a few things.
I hate the continual conflation of depression with sadness and frustration in this video. Depression is entirely different to all of these emotions and to describe it as such risks diminishing the magnitude of the experience of people with depression. What I can say from my experience is that it is extremely difficult to articulate to people who’ve never experienced depression what it is that you’re going through because the simple reduction to sadness always arises. This contributes to people’s inability to talk to people that are close to them since the last thing you want to hear is, you’re just sad and you can snap out of it! So far the best video I have watched articulating depression is Deepika Padukone’s Interview and you can read more on the Mental Health Awareness inspiration post that I made during Mental Health Week.
The analogy he uses by comparing the sky to the person and clouds that come and go to depression, sadness and frustration works to an extent but it’s also flawed. Sometimes with depression you don’t get to choose when it comes and goes. It overwhelms you at times and while some might experience it for a month, others experience for many years and require medicine or therapy to cope. I understand the sentiment that depression is not a permanent state and it should not define us, but you also have to recognise that the nature of depression makes people feel powerless and hopeless to the extent that they see no end in sight and some commit suicide as a result.
What I do agree with is the importance that he places on the language that we use. Our words are self affirmations and it is important for us to use positive language to describe our state of mind. So perhaps instead of saying ‘I am depressed’, saying that ‘I am going through depression’ is better. That language doesn’t deny the experience but it also acknowledges that things like depression doesn’t wholly define the individual.
Anyway the video is below and I would love to read your thoughts on it.